Archive for month: May, 2019
With summer just about upon us, HVAC units will fail and listeners will need to call HVAC guys to come to their house to fix them. These people, because they go to customer’s homes, have tons of stories to tell about what they find. Here’s a feature for the summer called Tales From the HVAC Guy.
Two of the regular items that bear themselves out when you talk with listeners is that they want fast moving breaks, with multiple parts to keep their attention. And that the sweet spot for length is about three minutes with rare exceptions. Enter The Big Dave Show, B105, Cincinnati who prep their breaks accordingly. Here’s a nice, compact break with two major elements around the Luke Bryan tickets the show has for giveaway: Part One in Luke or Dare is the team offering a trivia question to a caller – if they answer it correctly they get the tickets. Or they have to accept the dare, which is Part Two. Listen to this break and note how quickly it moves – they never give the audience a chance to get lulled into restlessness because of its pacing – it was prepped for this. There is launch/set-up, execution, and payoff all within three minutes, leaving the audience wanting more verses fatiguing them by staying too long. Which leads to a third important point: if you have something to give out, spend more time figuring out how to give away the prize because how you do it is the win for those just tuning in, wanting to have a good time.
Trying to get a morning talent to change their show so it wins in PPM can be one of the hardest things. Giving up control is tough, which is why I use lots of analogies to pull them outside of radio to make my points. If delivered well, they’re tough points to refute and put you in the best possible position to get the morning talent to make strategic changes so ratings go up.
I talk with shows all the time about how, instead of being on the receiving end of PPM ratings in radio, we’ve been on the giving end of it in TV: each night as we sit on the sofa with the remote control, each one of us cruises up and down the channel guide in search of a show that captivates and entertains—one that makes us laugh or engages us. We make that decision in micro-seconds before pushing the button again.
Same with the internet. Say a friend sends you a You Tube link saying it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen. We click on the link, immediately look at the clip length, and if it isn’t “the funniest thing we’ve ever seen,” we click away.
I proffer to shows that if we treat TV and the internet that way, why should we believe listeners would treat us any differently?
Need help getting your morning talent to change—for the better? Let’s chat.
What is a great song, but a story? Reality shows, even your favorite weekly sit-com, tells a story every week. Facts and figures only matter if they tell stories, which is how we connect as human beings and show our humanity. So this begs the big question – how do you do in telling stories on your show? What’s your story? The stories you find around your life and the Hot Topics frame your point-of-view and communicate your take. Stacey and Jonah, 106.5 The Arch, St. Louis heard that a gentleman and his family went to a Cardinals baseball game and, because he’d seen a picture, noticed that sitting close by was the family of the person who donated his heart in a transplant a few years prior. In a bold move, he introduced himself, believing this moment would never happen again. The show could have relayed the story on their own, but they elevated it by getting the man, the transplant recipient, on their show to tell them what happened. Awesome story-telling, very human, and quite memorable radio.
Oftentimes, it’s the kid who stays living with their parents until they’re in their 20s. But sometimes the script is flipped. Especially when it comes to things like Netflix and Spotify, where the parents might be using their kid’s log-ins. Let’s have some fun with this in a new feature called My Mom the Moocher.
Our post last week was about being in the moment for pop culture – attaching yourself in a unique way to a Hot Topic. The most inviting content might be what’s going on in the world right now, because those topics are clickable (and postable on your social media platforms). But the treatment of that topic, as my friends at Coleman Insights have long advocated, is what is critical to making the break stand out. There was a huge controversy around the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, where the expected horse to win was disqualified and Country House declared the winner. Good conversation for the show just after the race, because people are aware of it (awareness is the main threshold for determining a topic for your show). Kyle from Two Men and a Mom, WRAL-FM, Raleigh found out something very cool. His father-in-law placed a bet on Country House, because he lives in a country house (it was one of those “on a whim” bets). His father-in-law’s $20 bet, at 65-1 odds, paid off $1300. So, they got him on and you got to hear his story, energy, and sense of humor around the topic. Giving their program one more break that could only be done by them to engage and entertain the audience. That he placed the bet and won big is a coincidence. That they took advantage of it as content for the show isn’t.
Somewhere out there in Listener Land, a fan of your show forgot to call their mom on Mother’s Day. Life got in the way, and they didn’t remember. Which is why you can use the first few days of this week to get those listeners on, conference call in their mother, and we can hear the apology on the show. Bonus points if a cast member forgot to do this, because that would be character development for them.